Our team have made a fine start to the season proper, with 14 winners this month at a strike-rate of 19%.
Black Type Success
Last year’s Cheveley Park winner Alcohol Free had the 1,000 Guineas as her target ever since her win at Newmarket last September and she took a big step towards that when scoring on her return in a big-field renewal of the Fred Darling at Newbury. On the back of that highly encouraging reappearance win, she was sent off as joint-favourite for the Guineas but despite running a big race in defeat, it wasn’t to be. She remains a top-class filly and we look forward to an exciting season ahead.
Winner of the Windsor Castle and July Stakes at two, Tactical made the perfect return to action when landing the Listed Free Handicap at Newmarket under Oisin Murphy, reeling in the long-time leader close home despite a slightly troubled passage. That form has since been franked and an immediate return to Group contests beckons, most likely at Royal Ascot.
All Weather Action
We had started the month with a brilliant double on the Betway All-Weather Championships card at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, with Bangkok recording his second win of the year at the course with a narrow success in the Easter Classic under an excellent ride from Silvestre de Sousa. His next run will be in the Group 2 Huxley Stakes at Chester.
Ranch Hand had won a fast-track qualifier at Chelmsford in March and we therefore decided to take our chance in the All-Weather Marathon. Ridden for the first time by James Doyle, he produced a fine staying performance to win his third consecutive race on the flat, beating the same two horses into second and third as he had at Chelmsford. He continues to progress and his next target is the Henry II Stakes at Sandown Park in May.
Progressive Three Year Olds
Juan De Montalban had won nicely in heavy ground on his third and final start at two and he coped well with faster conditions on his seasonal reappearance at Sandown Park, readily holding the runner-up, with 12 lengths back to the third. He is a talented colt and has plenty more to offer this term. He looks one for some nice handicaps this season, as does the year-older Group One Power. Another son of Lope De Vega, he produced a career-best performance when making all at Epsom under Silvestre de Sousa.
Foxes Tales would have gone into plenty of notebooks when runner-up at Kempton Park on his debut in December and he made a winning reappearance in what looked a very competitive mile maiden on his return at Newbury. He is a colt of some potential and is now bound for the Dee Stakes at Chester.
A well-related colt, three-year-old Regal Vega had shown plenty of ability on his sole start at two, finishing runner-up at Haydock, and he duly went one better on his return at Southwell, providing Rowan Scott with a winner on his first ride for us.
A promising third on his debut at Doncaster’s opening meeting of the season, Carolus Magnus produced a very likeable performance to win on his second start at Newmarket, making all under a well-judged ride from Oisin Murphy. Just touched off in novice company since, he will have plenty of options in nice handicaps this summer and beyond.
Napper Tandy made the journey to Newcastle worthwhile with a comfortable success on his handicap debut, showing a good turn of foot to settle matters under David Probert. His half-sister won seven times for the yard and hopefully he can emulate that record in due course! Moneykenny took advantage of what looked a very winnable novice contest at Southwell, showing an aptitude for the fibresand on what was his first course start and coming home clear in the hands of Will Cox. He looks on a workable mark and will now go handicapping.
Spring Glow had run her best race at two on her final start, so it was pleasing to see her pick up where she had left off, shedding her maiden tag at the sixth attempt with a comfortable win at Wolverhampton under Jason Watson. A 3lbs rise looks very fair and she is capable of further success in the weeks ahead. Hold Fast is also up 3lbs for her latest win at Kempton Park for David Probert, her third success from her last four outings. She is in the form of her life at present and hopefully she can continue in a similar vein once switched to turf.
First Two Year Old Winner
Berkshire Shadow became our first two-year-old winner of the season when scoring on the first day of the Greenham meeting at Newbury, despite having given his eight rivals a bit of a start when slowly away from the stalls. The son of Dark Angel looks to have plenty of ability and is an exciting prospect.